Thursday Night Thread (YTD: 17-11)

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YTD: 17-11

TCU at Southern Miss

I've done a lot of number crunching on this one and I really like the Frogs to cover the number and even win this game outright. The biggest key to this game to me is going to be the TCU running game. In the 3 losses for Southern Miss this season they have allowed a minimum of 45 carries to their opponents. On the other side of the ball TCU has rushed for 45 carries in ALL but 2 of their games (Army and Cincy) and their results speak for themselves. You can talk about schedule strength but most of that talk reflects on the early part of the season as both have been mired in CUSA play the last 2 months. In fact it's the Golden Eagles that stepped out to beat up on Louisiana Lafayette 3 weeks ago for a homecoming game (Lafayette 92nd ranked offense/99th ranked defense) where they eeked out a 48-3 win. They both have 5 common opponents (UAB, S Fla, Houston, Cincy and Tulane) out of 10 games played this season and only Houston cracked 100 yards rushing against TCU while UAB, Houston, Tulane and Cincy all had 100+ rushing days against the Eagles.

Southern Miss does have an advantage with their passing defense and I don't expect TCU to get a lot of yards through the air (then again I have never expected TCU to get yards through the air). One of the keys to the Eagles strong play as of late has been their ability to get balance in their offense. It's easy to run the ball against Tulane (117th Run D), Houston (90th Run D) and LA Lafayette (108th Run D) and show that balance. Don't be fooled by the South Florida game either where the Eagles had an 80 yard bomb on the first play of the game and a fumble return for 14 of their 27 points. The Eagles will be hard pressed to get that balance they've had recently beating up on bad defensive teams.

Both teams are good in the turnover ratio area with TCU holding a slight edge. They are both strong on special teams as well (both top 30 punt and kickoff returns). Kicking game is very strong for TCU as K Nick Browne is one of the BEST FG kickers in the nation. Browne is 3 for 3 from 50+ this season and is once again a Groza award semifinalist (2nd year in a row). Punting edge to Southern Miss and P Luke Johnson averaging 42 yds per punt. If it's a close game like a lot of people are expecting I'll take Browne over So. Miss kicker Darren McCaleb anyday.

TCU is averaging 34 points a game with QB Brandon Hassell at the controls. Hassell has filled in nicely for normal starter Tye Gunn and Hassell will be the man tonight. Hassell provides a more accurate arm than Gunn and will keep the USM defense on its heels.

I'm beating a dead horse here so this is what I think: TCU runs the ball. Southern Miss has problems stopping the run. Period end of story. TCU reminds me a lot of Ohio St in that they aren't flashy and blowing teams out but they do what it takes to get the job done. IMO the points are a gift and I'll take them.

PLAY ON: TCU +3 -120 (yes I'm buying to 3...I'm not taking any chances on getting hooked tonight)

PLAY ON: TCU +115 (smaller..this one should be a nice bonus)
 

BlackampGold

Go Pittsburgh!
Joined
Sep 20, 2004
Messages
4,564
Sports - Thanks for the write-up. My hang-up on this game is the unranked favorite over ranked, undefeated, & BCS motivated TCU. May not be as strong of a situation in dealing with CUSA teams & Southern Miss is 6-0 in conference so tough to make them an underdog at home.... still undecided on this if any play.

For Saturday - can Penn State win this? I think Penn State could be an above average play for me believe it or not.
 

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B&G I can understand the hangups. Ranked road team at unranked home team is not always the best situation (especially both unbeaten in conference). But I am not a fan of the So. Miss offense and I think they will struggle against TCU. I also think the Frogs know they're underdogs as a 10-0 team and I think the players would take that to heart. The Frogs run the ball a ton and barring (knock on wood) costly turnovers this game should be theirs.

As for the Lions...I don't know about this one. I would like to say the Spartans have pulled a typical year end quit job and I know our guys are optimistic about this one. I'll let you know by tomorrow night for sure which way I'm going there. We did look good last week but it was Indiana.
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Usually that game goes Over by plenty and that's the way I lean early. 48 is low for these two.

Good luck B&G...even with that avatar.
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JUMBO227

New member
Joined
Sep 21, 2004
Messages
714
Tonites a big night for tcu, there tired of the bcs bullshit and they got something to prove, good write up and I'm with you. Good luck
 

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